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Tesla FAQ

Welcome to the pureTesla Frequently Asked Question page. This page is regularly updated with the latest information about all things Tesla. If you have additional questions that aren't addressed on this page, please let us know. Additionally, if you come across any outdated info that we may have missed, certainly share that as well!

All FAQs are separated into categories. Click the category below to jump to your desired section.

This is a work in progress. New info is being added to this FAQ regularly. Have a suggestion? Let us know!


Enhanced Autopilot

Charging (Home/Destination)

Weather (Cold, Snow, Rain, etc)

I forgot my adapter at home, can I still use a Tesla Supercharger?

Yes, all Tesla Superchargers have plugs that fit directly into the charge port of your Tesla vehicle.

What is a Supercharger idle fee?

After a 5-minute grace period; vehicles still charging beyond its intended charge state will be assessed the following fees:

* Supercharger 50% occupied: $0.50/minute idle fee

* Supercharger 100% occupied: $1.00/minute idle fee

Can I pay for my Supercharger usage on the screen in my Tesla?

Yes, you are able to pay for both your Supercharging and any idle fees incurred by entering your credit card information on-screen. This will be saved for future purchases.

Is there a way to check the status of a Supercharger site prior to arriving?

Yes, number of free bays and if the site is functioning or not is listed on the on-screen map in your vehicle. It is also available via Google Maps and through Tesla’s Trip Mapper.

Who pays the bill for power consumed by the Superchargers?

Tesla. All Supercharging sites are owned by Tesla directly. Costs of electricity and maintenance is offset by the charging rate paid by Tesla owners to charge at the stations.

Can any Tesla owner charge at a Supercharger?

Yes. Early adopters of the Model S and X received unlimited supercharging for the life of the vehicle. Newer vehicles are charged at a rate determined by the state in which you’re charging (typically $.23-$.29 per kWh)

Are Supercharger locations manned (staffed) or unmanned?

Unmanned. If there are issues at a location, call Tesla directly to report them.

A hook-up at a Supercharger isn't functioning correctly. What should I do?

Chances are Tesla already knows about it. However, it doesn’t hurt to call it in to customer support and let them know, just in case.

When I enter an address on the navigation, does it map Supercharger stops based on my current charge or based on a full charge?

All navigation mapping and route planning is based on the current charge of your vehicle.

If you charge your vehicle and route again, new estimates will be calculated and it may modify your charging stops (if necessary).

What are some route planning alternatives to the built in system that also factor in Supercharging? or

How do I plan out a trip, taking into account charging needs along the way?

You can use the in-car navigation system or use the trip planner online. Here are the links:

What is the fee for utilizing a Supercharger?

If you were an early adopter, you likely got unlimited free supercharging for life. Otherwise, the fee varies by state, but it typically ranges from $.23 – $.29 per kWh.

What is the difference between Superchargers and Destination Chargers?

Superchargers are built and operated by Tesla and have a very high charge speed. Destination Chargers are charge slower and are more similar to public charging or Chargepoint stations. Businesses can request them and, if approved, Tesla provides them for free, provided the business covers installation and the electricity costs.

Can other electric vehicles (EVs) use Superchargers?

No. Tesla vehicles are currently the only vehicles that are supported by the Supercharger stations.

Can Tesla vehicles use other non-Supercharger charging stations?

Yes, with the included adapters, Tesla vehicles can use a number of non-Supercharger charging stations (located at businesses, malls, etc).

Autopilot (AP, EAP, FSD)

What is the differences between AP1, AP2, AP2.5, EAP, FSD, etc?

AP1 was the first iteration using Mobileye’s hardware and some software written by Mobileye, some software written by Tesla.

AP2 uses a sensor suite and software developed solely by Tesla. Mostly it just can’t distinguish vehicle types on the screen, read speed limit signs (it uses a GPS database), and show vehicles in adjacent lanes on the screen (though it does detect them).

AP2.5 is AP2 with a more powerful computer. Model 3 and current Models S/X come with this. There’s no effective difference yet, it’s just to enable future FSD. People who buy FSD now will get any necessary upgrades free of charge.

FSD = Full Self-Driving. It’s sold today but is not yet enabled due to continued testing and regulatory approval.

EAP = Enhanced Autopilot. It’s what Tesla calls AP2+. This enables steering assist and adaptive cruise control (automatic lane changes, automatic speed adjustment to move with traffic, Navigation on Autopilot)

Does Autopilot recognize traffic lights or signs (such as stop signs)?

No, Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) is currently not capable of responding to traffic lights or traffic signs. In fact, EAP is not intended for use on roads utilizing these signals. Consider using cruise control on roads such as these (although cruise control also requires driver intervention at lights and stop signs, too).

I hear other owners referring to new features of Autopilot. How does my car get new features?

All Tesla vehicles are capable of “over the air” updates to the system software. This typically enables new functionality (or corrects previous issues). Keep in mind that if you have an older vehicle, you may not be eligible for all the features in the latest releases.

What is Navigate on Autopilot?

Navigate on Autopilot is an active guidance feature for Enhanced Autopilot that, with driver supervision, guides a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits.

Note: This feature requires the optional add-on Enhanced Autopilot.

If you’re on a freeway/highway and all of a sudden you come across stopped traffic (for construction or a crash for instance), will your car slow and stop on its own?

It should stop, and in most cases it probably will. The car will stop behind other cars at a traffic light too, but it will also go when the car in front of you does.

That said, it is important to maintain control of your vehicle at all times. EAP is more likely to fail when approaching stopped traffic having been traveling at a high rate of speed with no traffic prior to reaching stopped vehicles.

Is it safe to use Autopilot on roads with stop signs and traffic lights?

EAP is not intended for roads utilizing traffic lights and stop signs.

These types of roads are better suited for Adaptive Cruise Control, which will maintain the set speed in relation to surrounding traffic, but not steer or obey traffic signals.

Will my Tesla accelerate to avoid getting rear-ended?

No. There is no radar looking backward from the rear of the vehicle, therefore this is not something that the Tesla could mitigate.

Charging (Home/Destination/Supercharger)

How full should you charge the battery? How low should you let the battery get before recharging?

Tesla states that you should not charge above 90% unless you are planning to immediately use the charge (for a long-distance trip, for instance). Similarly, you should not let the charge drop below 10% before recharging.

That said, it has also been stated that the ideal range for maintaining charge is the 70/30 range.

Is there a way to fix chipped paint from the Aero wheels for the Model 3?

We have found that this touch up paint is nearly a perfect match to the color of the Aero wheels on the Model 3. Definitely a cheap option to get your wheels looking great again.



How can I help prevent my Model 3's handles and windows from freezing shut?

There are a couple things that can help:

  • Pre-heat your vehicle prior to driving (recommended at least 15-20 minutes if left outdoors for an extended period of time).
  • Consider some lubricants to help the seals from sticking. See our post about some options here.

How can I maximize range and efficiency in the cold winter months?

I wrote about how I change settings and some habits to conform to the needs of an EV during the winter. My experiences are documented here.